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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Lindsey Richter voted off 'Survivor: Africa,' told to 'sit it'

It's time for this week's "Survivor: Africa" recap, but before you begin reading, why not have a delicious Mountain Dew?

Just put on your Reeboks, hop in your Pontiac Aztec and drive down to the corner store. Soon, you'll be "doing the Dew."

Wait, what am I talking about? I've been brainwashed by "Survivor" product placement! I'm sorry. Jeff Probst is so convincing. Who can resist when he half-heartedly offers the tribes "all the Mountain Dew you can drink"? Millions of mouths must have watered at all that smarmy goodness!

This week's reward challenge brings back the overt product placement that was such a hallmark of "Survivor: The Australian Outback." Doritos are surprisingly absent from the buffet spread offered to the winners of an Africa trivia challenge.

Not-so-subtle advertising has been a common criticism of the "Survivor" shows. I like it. It isn't so invasive as people say -- it would be just as weird if Probst offered everyone "soft drinks" -- and it's a clever way to milk more money out of the show.

I'm looking forward to seeing which hideous automobile is offered as a reward in a later challenge. Last year, it was the angular Pontiac Aztec.

This time, I'm betting it's the Chevy Avalanche, a monstrosity that transforms from a pickup truck to a sport-utility vehicle. Why you would need to do this, I don't know.

Samburu 2.0 wins the reward challenge, and the tribe gorges itself on sandwiches and a certain fizzy yellow beverage that isn't Mello Yello.

So after the obligatory all-you-can-eat reward challenge, we have the obligatory post-reward utterance of "Oooog." Young Kim almost throws up on the way back to camp, but breaks with "Survivor" tradition by holding it in.

The action now focuses on the split at Samburu 2.0, where the three remaining members of the Beautiful People alliance worry that the Tom-Kelly-Lex alliance is going to vote for Lindsey.

They are concerned because if Lindsey is targeted, she is a goner since ties are broken by going to previous Tribal Council votes. As we saw when Lindsey faced off against Carl, though, a tie on both counts is broken by a trivia contest.

The Beautiful People (Lindsey is less so with a nasty bruise this week, but perpetually cheerful Kim still pleases) figure that Brandon can trash their target, Tom, in the sudden-death quiz, so he tries his best to act effeminate. The idea is to convince Tom-Kelly-Lex that Brandon got a vote from Frank in an earlier Tribal Council.

Since so much of the show has been dedicated to who's getting voted off Samburu 2.0, it's not hard to predict who's going to lose the immunity challenge.

Mark Burnett wants to make sure that gameplay doesn't get in the way of his storytelling, so he constructs an immunity challenged guaranteed to give Boran 2.0 the win. It's an archery contest, and -- what a coincidence -- Frank is an accomplished archer.

The challenge is more of a nail-biter than expected, though, when Frank misses every one of his shots. Ethan is a quick study, though, and hits the final target to save his team from Tribal Council.

"You know what this means, don't you?" Jeff Probst asks of the losing tribe, Samburu 2.0. I bet they do, Jeff, especially since you ask that question every week.

When Brandon blabs about the Beautiful People's plan in earshot of Kelly, Lindsey realizes that her time is probably up, so she concocts a desperate plan to save herself -- ally with Tom-Kelly-Lex and vote for Brandon.

Lindsey is obviously flailing here. There is no advantage for Tom-Kelly-Lex if they agree to vote for Brandon. They have a guaranteed win if they vote for Lindsey; why take the chance that she will remain loyal and vote for Brandon?

The logic isn't lost on the former Boran members, and they continue the slow, painful dismantling of the Beautiful People.

It's all worth it to see the best moment of any "Survivor" yet. When Lindsey gets up after the first vote -- prematurely since there has to be a revote -- Jeff Probst finally gets fed up with the whiny blonde. The result: "Lindsey where you goin'? SIT IT."

Regis, eat your heart out.